Dr Dele Olajide is Chair of the Board of Trustees. He previously worked as Associate Medical Director, Caldicott Guardian and Governor at the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
What experience do you bring to The Advocacy Project?
“I worked for many years as consultant psychiatrist at the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM). People with mental health conditions are vulnerable, often disenfranchised, disempowered and not able to advocate for themselves, unless they have assertive and engaged relatives. I am a firm believer in giving service users and their carers voices in the care provided for them. It is not surprising I should want to become a trustee – and now Chair – of The Advocacy Project.
As a Caldicott Guardian, my role included empowering patients and improving organisational transparency – especially when we get things wrong so we learn from our mistakes. My role also included making sure we adhered to the laws protecting patient confidentiality in our clinical and research undertakings.
At SLAM I was also involved in developing electronic systems so professionals and patients can co-produce patient records. Doctors could project information onto a screen in real time during a meeting, so a patient can see what’s written about them and update factual information. This also means professionals are thoughtful and compassionate about what they write in patient notes. It engenders trust and has led to fewer complaints. This was a welcome shift in the professional/ patient power relationship resulting in greater empowerment and autonomy for patients.
I also led on greater openness in sharing information with carers and families. Carers play an important role in managing symptoms, behaviour and effect of medication on their loved ones. They are able to carry out their caring roles more effectively if information in the patients’ records is shared with them.”
What do you like about being on the Board of Trustees?
“As a trustee of The Advocacy Project, I’m establishing robust quality initiatives to help us track what we do. Having quality data helps to make our work more effective. I am very supportive of the board reflecting the diversity of the London communities it serves”
What do you do in your spare time?
“I recently retired from the NHS and have been excited to be able to focus on The Advocacy Project and my other interests. I am an honorary medical adviser to the Actors Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support for actors who have fallen on hard times, usually because of an illness. I am passionate about opera, classical and jazz music. I love to take walks in our local park and engage in inspirational cooking for relaxation.”